A Stranger at Fellsworth

A Stranger at Fellsworth

by Sarah E. Ladd
4.3 35

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A Stranger at Fellsworth 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! Sarah Ladd did it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Stranger at Fellsworth just may be my favorite book yet from Sarah E. Ladd! I was able to read it in one day but was forced to put it down at Chapter 31 when “real life” got in the way and it was killing me until I could pick it up again. I felt that the story had an excellent balance of dialogue and descriptions. I could really picture the locations but the descriptions weren’t excessive. I loved both Owen Locke and Annabelle Thorley. I liked the Annabelle had a quiet yet strong personality and Owen’s personality, back story and description were so interesting. He also had some of the best quotes, like this one: “I would take the solace of a forest over the hustle of London’s streets any day. Just listen to the silence. If the mind is too cluttered, you will never hear your soul’s whispers.” Certain events at the end were predictable but I feel they did not take away from the story at all.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Loved it. Every page of it.
AngelaBycroftNZ 8 months ago
If a book has the ability to be a time machine, a portal to another time and place - then Sarah E Ladd’s latest historical offering offers no less than to immerse one in a time long ago and in a culture far different than our own. A Stranger at Fellsworth tells the tale of Annabelle - a young socialite whom the world seems to be at her beckoning when scandal threatens to destroy it all. Orphaned with only a rather repugnant brother as her ward - she is expected to marry a man far her senior and less than savoury in his manner. Annabelle decides to abandon her home and along with her maid, flee to her uncles estate and the school which her is superintendent. She finds an unexpected ally whom she literally bumps into but then when their paths cross at the opportune time when Annabelle needs a means of escape, he becomes her only option to remove herself from her brother’s plotting ways. That ally - Owen Locke has secrets of his own. Tragedy and scandal follow him as well but there is nothing he wouldn’t do for his young daughter. When Annabelle is made a teacher at the school where she attends - more bonds will be created. With the threat of poachers weighing heavy over the estate of Fellsworth and it’s neighbours - Owen and Annabelle may need each other more than they can ever guess as the danger maybe closer than home than they could ever have guessed. I read this book in almost one sitting - it had suspense aplenty and just the right amount of tension to make it un-put-down-able. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via The Fiction Guild, and was not required to post a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
bookstoregal 11 months ago
Another good historical book by Sarah Ladd. This one was a little different in that there is a change of class with one of the characters. It took me a little longer to get into this one than the 2nd one of this series. (I really liked the 2nd one a lot.) There is some suspense, and a little mystery. :) It is a simpler plot, maybe... I guess I found a few things to be kind of unbelievable. Overall, though, it was a good story. If you like historical romance, you'll probably like this one. :) I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
Jennybug52 11 months ago
4.5 stars- This is another stellar story by Sarah E. Ladd. I have really enjoyed this series- the stories have all been intriguing and the covers are gorgeous. Annabelle and Owen are both very likable characters. Owen is my new hero- Annabelle didn’t stand a chance of not falling in love with him. Annabelle was also a strong character, navigating an entirely new world from the one she had grown up in. It is hard to imagine what life for a pampered rich girl in Regency England must have been like, and how completely foreign it would be to have everything suddenly taken away from you. She handled things better than I think I would have. I also really liked Annabelle’s uncle. He was a strict but loving influence on Annabelle and the youth under his care and guidance. He helped restore Annabelle’s faith in people and God. This story had romance and mystery and a lot of heart. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to a friend. This was a great finish to a great series. I look forward to seeing what Sarah’s next series will be. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
SemmieWise 11 months ago
** “Some of us will learn and grow, and some will struggle and fail. I know I certainly could not judge another. All we can do is be there for the ones who have been put into our lives.” ** Fans of Jane Austen will fall in love with Sarah E. Ladd’s “A Stranger at Fellsworth” as they journey into 1819 England and into the world of Annabelle Thorley, making a return to Fellsworth from prior novels. Annabelle is struggling. Both of her parents are dead and she is in the care of her brother Thomas. Trying to overcome the suspicion of a scandal that faced their father before his death, her brother spirals further and further into ruin and scandal. He tries to force Annabelle into a betrothal with the uncouth and disgusting, but rich, Cecil Bartrell to help fix their problems. After a night of debauchery and danger, Annabelle fears for her very life and is forced to leave London and seek refuge with her uncle, Edmund Langsby, the superintendent of Fellsworth School. With the assistance of the mysterious and intriguing Owen Locke, Fellsworth’s gamekeeper, Annabelle is able to escape and settle into a new life. Owen, a widower with a precocious yet delightful young daughter Hannah, has his own battles, though. Still trying to overcome the scandalous murder of his wife several years ago, he is also trying to figure out and end the poaching crisis occurring in Fellsworth. And he is pursuing his dream of one day becoming a landowner himself. “A Stranger at Fellsworth” is a tale of romance, but it is also a tale filled with suspense, mystery and danger. As both main characters struggle with dealing with scandals in their lives, they also learn many more amazing lessons — things can always be worse; every person is on a journey, and their journey is already mapped out for them; how to overcome loneliness; wanting a sense of belonging; paths and purposes change; and the importance of having faith. As Owen’s family emphasized, people should always strive for faith over fortune; and wealth is pride in a job well done, not how many possessions they own. Sarah E. Ladd offers another delightful gem with “A Stranger at Fellsworth,” full of lovely and intriguing characters, great action, and make-you-sigh romance. Five stars out of five. Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
candicervaldez More than 1 year ago
This is an ok read. The story was good, but I felt like it had been done numerous times already. Sometimes I kept getting confused by all the "bad" characters. I enjoyed reading it, but it wasn't a book that I couldn't put down. A pleasant read, and I would recommend it to others. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
jewelrydiva More than 1 year ago
Oh my goodness! This was my favorite book in the series!! I was hooked from the first page! This book set in the Regency era had mystery, romance and a loveable hero and heroine. This was a well developed story with a happily ever after ending! I highly recommend this book! *I was given this book by the publisher and was under no obligation to leave a review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Annabelle is living with her brother and his wife and things are taking a downturn. He wants to marry her to a business associate that she does not like. She decides to runaway and hide from her brother with her Uncle. Will Annabelle be able to adjust to a new life working and living with others? Will her brother find her and make her marry a man she detests? There are a few twists and turns.
jacksonmomLV More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of Sarah Ladd, and this book reminds me why. She has a real gift for transporting her readers to "long ago and far away" with her thorough research and fluid prose. (I have been looking for an excuse to use her line, "I detest him on your behalf" all week. Delicious!) As the above-quoted friend also said, "Society...is fickle. We are all just one misstep away from scandal." Heroine Annabelle Thorley finds out this is painfully true. Through no fault of her own, she is forced to flee London and her cruelly controlling brother before he forces her into a marriage to a lecherous and murderous man. For the first time in her privileged life, she has to work for a living, finding safety and (surprisingly) satisfaction at her uncle's private school in Fellsworth. Her closest ally turns out to be anything but. Gamekeeper Owen Locke seems to be continually coming to her aid, though. He is still brooding over his disastrous first marriage - would he risk his heart again? His bravery and tenderness toward his young daughter make this hero an impossible-not-to-root-for good guy as he battles poachers and self-doubt. As always, Ladd's supporting characters are strong. Uncle Edmund is charmingly British, proper and wise and loving. Mrs. Pike is mysterious and stoic, yet a romantic at heart. And Ladd's villains are so easy to despise! Blackguards one and all. This book was hard to put down, and kept my pulse racing more than what was good for me (the typical fight scene at the end especially). I love the way Ladd weaves multiple storylines together into a satisfying whole. As her uncle encouraged Belle, "Have faith. This journey of yours is mapped out already. You just need to seek guidance to find your way through these shadows. All will be well in the end." Pour yourself a cup of hot tea and enjoy this regency romance as his words come true. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via The Fiction Guild, and was not required to post a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
There's a quality to Sarah Ladd's writing that is restful to me, even with the tumultuous circumstances of her characters. I so easily sink into the story and am immersed in the setting. I loved seeing Annabelle take her future in her own hands and sacrifice her comfortable lifestyle for her freedom and peace. Owen is a hero that grows on you with his quiet strength and I loved his connection to the forest and land. I enjoyed Annabelle's uncle and aunt as stabilizing characters in her new and very different life. There are elements of suspense as Annabelle is in hiding from her brother and Owen is investigating the network of poachers on the land he is responsible for. The pace steadily builds as relationships deepen, secrets are uncovered, and the complex dynamics of the lives of the characters are intertwined. Annabelle and Owen both grow in their faith as they turn to God for comfort and guidance. Highly recommend to fans of historical and Regency romance! (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
RobbyeReviewer More than 1 year ago
Annabelle Thorley is shocked when her brother, Thomas, starts selling off the furnishings in her home. However, that’s not the worst of what he does, and her shock sends her fleeing. Owen Locke is the gamekeeper for Mr. Treadwell, owner of Bancroft Park, in the Fellsworth area. During Treadwell’s visit to the Thorleys, Locke meets Annabelle and sets off an unimaginable chain of events. Sarah Ladd does a very good job of portraying the angst, anguish and anxiety suffered by Annabelle when she finds herself in an untenable position. Miss Ladd describes the time frame, situation and plot in a realistic and intriguing manner. The story draws you in and doesn’t let go, beginning when Annabelle discovers her family’s financial straits and her brother’s treachery. Then she figuratively pulls herself up by her bootstraps and devises ways to better herself and her financial condition. I enjoyed reading about the time period, the disparities in the social classes and the way society, in general, was so different. The imagery is well depicted and enhances the story, richly illustrating the variations in clothing and even the distinctions between living in city and country living. A Stranger at Fellsworth is novel three in the set of Treasures of Surrey. Nevertheless, the story works well as a stand-alone book. I received a copy of A Stranger at Fellsworth from The Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to provide a review.
MJK108 More than 1 year ago
“Every person is on a journey. You. Me. Mr. Thorley. Miss Stillworth. Every single one of us.” …. “Some of us will learn and grow, and some will struggle and fail. I know I certainly could not judge another. All we can do is be there for the ones who have been put into our lives.” -Crosley Suspense, romance and a bit of faith deliver a great story in this latest novel by Sarah E. Ladd. Readers of Regency novels will definitely engage with this story. Intriguing characters, dark plots, and subtle romance tie the story together quite well! Annabelle Thorley, a young gentile woman, finds her life changing drastically as her family goods are carted from their pleasant home and sold by her brother who has inherited the family estate. Bills to settle, debts to be paid, and unsavory friends add to Annabelle’s brother Thomas’s problems. Thomas decides to use Annabelle as a means of getting himself out of debt and out of trouble. Desperation drives Annabelle to seek shelter at Fellsworth School run by her Uncle Edmund, whom she has not seen in ten years. Owen Locke, a groundskeeper from the neighboring estate, steps in and provides safe transportation to Fellsworth for Annabelle and her ladies maid, Crosley. Uncle Edmund is quite willing to provide the two women with jobs and a safe place to live. Thus begins a changed life for Annabelle and Crosley both. One will use the change to her advantage and one will use it unwisely. Once again Sarah Ladd examines in depth the significance of family, morals, and the true meaning of home. Annabelle and Owen have both suffered loss and difficulties. Annabelle’s upbringing left her ill suited to the life with which she winds up, but she makes an effort to adapt and do the best she can with the skills she has. Owen learns that he is capable of a great deal of patience and that his patience and hard work do pay off in the end. Annabelle and Owen learn that home is where you make it and family is sometimes what we choose, not what we are born to. This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
Cynthia181 More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book from the Fiction Guild. I was not required to give a favorable review. All thoughts are my own. This is a wonderful story of how a young woman during a time when the men in her life told her who she might marry, made a decision to take her life into her own hands and ran away to her uncle who when she was a child told her that she would always have a place to live. Her father pretty much lost all the family money and ruined their name, her brother wasn't any help with anything he was pretty much selling off everything and then made a bargain with a very bad to marry his sister off to him. She decided with the help of a man she barely met to flee to her uncle but while there someone she thought she could trust was feeding information back to her brother. One person made the move bareable and he is was Mr. Locke and his daughter was a student at the school that she would be teaching at. But with their faith and strength they find their way to make things right and find love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Suspenseful, clean, historical romance! Engaging characters, both strong and positive like Owen and Annabelle and weak and mean like Bartrell and Samuel. Good story and mystery 3 stars due to high ebook price. Voluntarily read ARC thru Netgalley and publisher, for honest review.
BookReviewerTG More than 1 year ago
I just love when I've read two books by an author and am surprised when I receive the third book in the mail. Having read The Curiosity Keeper and Dawn at Emberwilde and now A Stranger at Fellsworth all in the Treasures of Surrey "series." In my opinion this is a stand alone read as are the other two books. Annabelle seems to be in quite a pickle. After her father dies and there is no money left, her fiancé calls of their betrothal and now her brother wants to control her every move. So what is a girl to do? Why runaway to a better place, of course. So Annabelle does the unthinkable and runs away to the school where her uncle whom she does not know is the school superintendent. What a wake up call. Annabelle learns that she is no longer a lady of leisure but must actually work for a living. Annabelle meets Owen and his daughter but as their relationship seems to grow there seems to be mysterious strangers and all kinds of trouble. Will these tests and trials pull the couple apart or will they learn to help each other. Another great historical read with romance and adventure by Sarah E. Ladd! *This book was provided for review by The Fiction Guild*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah Ladd is the third in the author's Treasures of Surrey novels, all Regency novels. You do not have to read the others to enjoy this book. Take one family whose name and fortune has been decimated by scandal, one older brother determined to wed his sister (Annabelle) to a wealthy and obnoxious man, one younger sister who has the courage to flee to an estranged uncle, one handsome and kind gamekeeper (Owen); stir in a murder, poaching, and a budding romance between Annabelle and Owen, and you have the recipe for an interesting story. In the age of social hierarchy and strict social guidelines, Annabelle discovers happiness in unexpected places. There are others story threads woven through out the book that make it an interesting read.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
A Stranger at Fellsworth by author Sarah E. Ladd was an interesting tale that dug deeper into the nuances of the English countryside in the early 1800’s. This is a story about Annabelle and how she is trying to find a solid foothold in her life and the people, who should be protecting her, like her brother, are the very ones she needs to flee from. There was such an atmosphere of impending danger and entrapment in this novel that had me really sympathizing with Annabelle. Annabelle runs away to the only family she has left, her aunt and uncle who run a school at Fellsworth. She is helped by the mysterious yet noble gamekeeper Owen Locke. Owen, fueled by the tragedy of his past decides to do what he can to help Annabelle in her current circumstances. Owen is also dealing with poachers on the land that he is gamekeeper of and surrounding countryside’s. I found the historical aspect of poaching very interesting and due to this story, poaching has been put in a different context for me. I guess I always looked at it from the peasants’ point of view instead of the owners and thus the gamekeepers’ point of views. So this novel definitely gave me food for thought on that historical subject. I know this novel takes place after the medieval age but poaching still seemed to be a real problem that if caught came with very drastic consequences. Evil fiancés, familial abuse, murder, poaching, and betrayal added with hope and true love all mixed together to make this third novel in the Treasures of Surrey a page turner. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all the views and opinions expressed are my own.
booksandbeverages More than 1 year ago
3.5 It’s always a pleasure to experience historical England and Sarah E. Ladd continues to claim a spot as one of the top inspirational authors with each new book. Her latest has plenty of mystery, second chances and making courageous decisions. It’s no surprise I’m a fan of strong female leads. What I particularly enjoyed, is that Annabelle grew into that role. She was brave and continued to take steps that weren’t often done then. I also appreciated the character growth of Owen. Each were dealt some hard hands, but they grew from them and were better people because of it. While there were some plot pieces a few readers might pick up early on, I enjoyed seeing it all play out. I find the history intriguing as always (who knew that poaching was such a major issue?) and overall enjoyed the novel. If you enjoyed Ladd’s previous novels, you’ll be sure to enjoy this one. What’s on your summer reading list? Any English novels make the list? (Thank you to BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.) Originally posted at http://booksandbeverages.org/2017/05/23/stranger-fellsworth-sarah-e-ladd-book-review/
Lane_Hill_House More than 1 year ago
Monday, May 22, 2017 A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd, © 2017 A Treasures of Surrey Novel ~ Book 3 Miss Annabelle Thorley sees with the heart. Away from the crowd of demands and sequenced from what could have become her plight, she goes forward, looking beyond what appears. How often do we withhold what we realize a person needs ~ a smile, a nod, an agreeable answer ~ so simple but often withheld unknowingly when we could have provided the very thing that would put a lilt to their walk? In this instance, it wasn't those things, but it was understanding that transpired. You gave the woman the object she attempted to rob you of. --A Stranger at Fellsworth, 15. Already I am indebted to Annabelle for the realization that "but for the Lord, there go I." Taking where we are for granted, blessings that are overflowing are capable of easing the need of another. Perhaps, not require, but would ease their load? As Annabelle, her eyes were open to see the personhood. I love this quote: "It does amaze me how you manage to find adventure wherever you go,...." --Ibid., 20. Owen Locke, the gamekeeper at Bancroft Park ~ Fellsworth in Surrey, heeds closer observation as to his awareness too! Wilhurst House, London Annabelle's brother, Thomas, is expecting a house guest, Mr. Stephen Treadwell. Unaware this was the destination as well of Owen Locke, Annabelle is surprised they meet again. Fortunate, indeed, that they had made each other's acquaintance prior to his arrival at Wilhurst House. The moment her foot touched the carriage step, she traded the life she knew for another one yet unknown. --Ibid., 75. Annabelle leaves London, arriving at her aunt and uncle's home in Fellsworth. As superintendent of the Fellsworth School, Annabelle is offered housing and a position at the school. Upon Owen's arrival back at Bancroft Park, he has occasion to meet Annabelle again. His daughter attends the school as a boarder. As a widower, Owen is appreciative of the direction and care his young daughter receives that he feels unqualified to provide for her. As Annabelle is asked to instruct Hannah in extra reading, she also introduces her to painting. They develop a trust in one another. The story has twists and turns unexpectedly, matched by determination and earnest devotions to overcome adversity. It is uncertain whom can be trusted. I would like to see Miss Henrietta Stillworth freed from her circumstances to be given the opportunity she is worthy of. To be reclaimed and loved for the true person she is. ***Thank you, BookLook Bloggers for inviting me to be a part of the tour for this third novel in the Treasures of Surrey series by Sarah E. Ladd. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
I love it when you find an absolutely charming and heart-warming series of novels that you can follow from beginning to end. A Treasure of Surrey series from Sarah E. Ladd is perfect of fans of Christian Historical Romance genres and in A Stranger at Fellsworth is the third book in series. Annabelle Thorley is at the end of her rope when she learns that her brother Thomas intends to marry her off to Mr. Bartwell in order to pay off his debts and keep the estate at which she has been living from being sold out from underneath them. In a world where women retain little and have no rights to inheritances, her only hope is to marry into a suitable family, but she isn't the slightest bit interested in Mr. Bartwell. Her brother will do whatever it takes to ensure the marriage takes place. With no other suitable options remaining Annabelle decides that leaving is the best option. She meets Owen Locke, a gamekeeper in town when her reticule is almost stolen on the streets by a former friend who has fallen on hard times herself and in the situation, Annabelle sees a mirror image of what will happen to her if she doesn't leave home or even worse if she doesn't marry Mr. Bartwell. She makes arrangements with Owen to secure her safe coach passage to her Aunt and Uncle's home at Fellsworth, Owen's employer and puts all her hope that they will allow her to stay despite spending only a fair amount of her childhood with them. She makes a deal with her lady's maid to accompany her to Fellsworth and once there, she can start a new life for herself as well since she won't have the funds to continue to keep her. Owen wasn't hoping to catch Annabelle in his sights when he arrived in town, but if he can make restitution through assisting her to Fellsworth and away from her brother and Mr. Bartwell, perhaps he can feel better about his own failed efforts to save his wife from being murdered. He doesn't want the same outcome for her and even goes to great lengths to ensure her safety without compromising her reputation. Her Aunt and Uncle are thrilled to have her move home, but it won't be anything close to her former life. While remaining on the Fellsworth property, she will live in the school quarters and take a job as a Junior teacher for the students that they support. Is this life worth living home for or is there something more in her future? I received A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd compliments of TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson Publishers. I love this conclusion to the Treasures of Surrey because each of the novels can stand alone. I love the strength and courage it took Annabelle to walk away from her life of comfort without knowing what her future held. In a time in history where women had few rights, it took fortitude to put her faith on the line and hope that her former family ties might just be the future she needed. The romance between Owen and Annabelle is wonderful because it happens slowly over the time they spend with one another and the relationship Annebelle builds with Hannah, his daughter teaching her to paint. I easily give this novel a 5 out of 5 stars.
CarolJo More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this Regency romance. I especially liked the strong male protagonist. The leading female character was a little difficult to believe but that was a much different culture than today. The book kept my attention and I would recommend A Stranger at Fellsworth to others. I received my advance copy of A Stranger at Fellsworth through NetGalley. This is my honest opinion.
HelenM0 More than 1 year ago
“Things happen in life we cannot understand. We can only do our best and seek God's guidance and move forward the best we are able.” A Stranger at Fellsworth, by Sarah E. Ladd, is book three in A Treasures of Surrey series. Annabelle Thorley's parents have died and with the passing of her father, rumors of his financial status cause her fiance to break off the engagement. She is left living with her brother and sister-in-law in London. Her brother keeps reminding her of the situation and has told her she must marry a man she does not want to. One night after a party, the man she is suppose to marry treats her badly. When she gets away from him, her brother also treats her badly. When she gets to her room she decides her only option is to run away. She has an uncle she has only seen once and decides to go to him for help. She convinces her lady's maid to run off with her. Earlier in the day Annabelle met Owen Locke, the gamekeeper and assistant to the owner of Bancroft Park. He is staying at her brothers home to assist his employer on the trip. Annabelle asks him to help her get to Fellsworth. Owen is from Fellsworth and friends with her uncle and helps her get to him. Annabelle's uncle assigns her to be a junior teacher at the school he runs. Annabelle has not worked before and finds teaching a challenge. One of her students is Owen's daughter, Hannah. Hannah does not like it at school. One day after some girls are mean to her, Hannah tries to go home. She steps in a trap and gets hurt. Everyone at the school is looking for her and Annabelle takes a trail Hannah told her about, finds her and takes her home. This is a very heart warming story. The author does a great job of introducing the characters and providing details of the story. I was able to envision the homes and school as well as the rough terrain and woods. And I could just feel the brown silk of Owen's late wife's gown. Based in England in the early 1800's, the story shows us how the different classes of people lived. The wealthy were tutored while the poor sent their children away to a school and seldom saw them, to allow them a chance to get an education and learn a trade. Even though this is Christian Fiction, it does not stand out and is not preachy. One of the parts of the story that stands out for me is that as a young girl, Annabelle went to church with her mother. With her mother's passing the family no longer attended church. Now Annabelle does not have peace like Owen and questions her faith. Being book three in the series, it is also a stand alone novel. I have not read the first two and was able to totally enjoy this book. I especially like that the story was fast moving with suspense written into the story. I would not consider this a romance novel, but there is just a touch of romance in the story as well. I feel anyone who enjoys reading historical stories based in England will truly enjoy this story. I received a copy of this book from Book Look Bloggers and I have chosen to write this honest review.
Utemom5 More than 1 year ago
A new favourite from Sarah Ladd! I loved to recommend Sarah's series 'Whisphers on the Moors'. In fact everyone that came into the book store looking for a historical fiction, I placed one of those books into their hands. She was a little known author to our customers, but there is something about Sarah's writing that draws you deep into the period, the story. However, I have felt a little disconnected to the more recent books by Sarah Ladd, and I have missed the ability her earlier work had to pull me in to a well developed plot. If you ever could literally feel like a fly on the wall, this is it. You feel like you are right there, living, breathing with the early 1800s going on its daily life around you. That's what I love about this book. I was there in London, while Annabelle was receiving the shut down by the society that had been her friends. I was there as she fled in fear for her future. I was there as she looked about in resigned acknowledgement of her new attic room that she was to share with 3 other servants of Fellsworth School. Life would never be the same for Annabelle Thorley. Attempting to escape and hide from her brother and his attempts to marry her to Mr Bartrell, she comes to accept that her new life may not be what she had dreamed and hoped for. She is free, and with that she starts to reconnect with the memories her mother left behind - of that of her faith. Remembering her mothers prayers, she steps into an unfamiliar path of hope. With her reuniting with her Uncle & Aunt there is the chance to feel what family should represent. Of course, the new acquaintance of Mr Owen Locke, gamekeeper at the nearby Bancroft Park - develops at a natural pace. Owen has suffered a loss of his own, and knows only too well the cost of scandal that can come to a person. Unhurried and well descriptive, I enjoyed every page of this book. The minor characters are such a compliment to those who feature more widely, and there was nothing predictable in the plot. I was touched by this line, a discussion between Annabelle & Owen. (Paraphrased) 'Peace is not determined by your circumstances... Peace is dependent upon where you place your faith.' I truly believe that no matter how we long for our environment or situation to be 'just right' it's false thinking that those things will bring you a measure of true peace in life. Where we place our faith, that is what will carry us through life. Through the darkness as well as the light. Thank you to Thomas Nelson & Netgalley for the complimentary copy. This is my honest review.